A diabetes sufferer who almost died after collapsing at home is calling for more support for young adults diagnosed with the condition.
Hannah Postles, aged 29, fell seriously ill when her blood sugar levels soared, causing her body to become acidic and her organs to start to shut down.
She was only saved after colleagues who realised she hadn’t turned up for work raised the alarm.
Hannah, who lives in Parson Cross, Sheffield, was admitted to intensive care, eventually spending more than 20 days in hospital before being discharged.
Now, a year on from her collapse, Hannah is campaigning for more help to be offered to young adults diagnosed with type one diabetes like herself.
“I was only diagnosed two-and-a-half years ago. I’d had 26 years without having to enforce a regimented regime of injecting insulin,” she said.
“But now I know how important it is to look after myself. My life depends on it.”
The day before her illness Hannah had been a bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding, and felt ‘full of energy’.
But the next day she started to feel sick and exhausted. Hannah, who lived alone at the time, had unknowingly developed diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition caused by a severe lack of insulin, which means the body cannot process glucose.
Body tissue is then broken down to use as a source of energy instead.
“I remember lying on the sofa wondering what the number for NHS Direct was - that’s all I remember,” she said.
“Two days later I woke up in intensive care. Had I not been found I don’t want to think about what could have happened.”
On admission to hospital Hannah’s weight had ‘shrivelled’ to just over seven stones. Within a week she put on four stones in fluid.
“I hadn’t been controlling my condition well, but I hadn’t been skipping insulin deliberately,” added Hannah, who works as a media relations officer at Sheffield University.
“Hopefully no long-term damage has been done. Had I been a child when I was diagnosed, I believe I’d have been given more support.
“Within 24 hours of diagnosis, I had been sent home with a bag of insulin and needles and told I would be giving myself injections for the rest of my life.
“I was then left largely to my own devices.”
n Visit www.diabetes.org.uk for more information.